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Does (or should) pork butt have a fat cap?

edited 5:23PM in EggHead Forum
Just picked up a 5# pork butt from the butcher and noticed there was no fat cap... then again this is my first time cooking one so I don't know if that is normal or not?[p]The butcher did trim the brisket that was in the case so I think maybe they would trim a butt as well....[p]Anyway, should it have a cap and if so (since mine does not) should I try to add a cap (bacon or something) while it cooks?[p]Also, how long post cook can I keep this thing warm.... I am debating whether I want to start the cook tonight around midnight and be done around noon and try to keep warm until dinner time (5-6)..... or do I have to get up with the birds and start then... say 5 am?[p]Thanks[p]


  • Nardi, you might want to see if your butcher can get you a butt that has the fat cap left on it. Around here I buy mine at Sams, two buts in a croyovac package with a perfect fat cap for around.
    As far as times go I cook mine for 20 or 22 hrs at 200 to 220 deg, I never check the temp of the meat. When the butt gets pulled there is no waste except for the bone, the fat cap gets chopped up and added back into the rest of it.
    Hope this helps![p]

  • Nardi,
    Duh, forget to mention that you can wrap in foil, cover with a towel and place in a cooler for several hours until it time to eat. At least do so for an hour to let the meat rest before pulling.[p] [p]

  • RyanRyan Posts: 243
    Nardi,[p]I just did a 6 lb pork butt last Saturday. Like you, I was concerned about it being done too early on Sunday. I started it at around 11:00 PM the night before at 220 degrees. I didn't hit 200 degrees internal temp until 5:00 PM the next day. I wish I would have started it an hour or so earlier... I think the key is keeping the dome temp between 200 - 220 overnight then bringing it up to 250 in the morning...[p]Good luck,[p]Ryan

  • Mac  in NCMac in NC Posts: 287
    I use a small cooler (holds a six pack and two six" sandwiches) to store my butts prior to pulling. If you need to keep the butts warm for several hours, you can preheat the cooler with boiling water. Let the water stand in the cooler for ten min. prior to adding the butt. I wrap in aluminum foil and dish towels as Driftpin mentioned and then stuff the remaining cracks with newspaper. This technique is by no means mine. Some kind gentleman many months ago brought this to my attention right here on the forum. [p] As far as the fat cap goes, I'm gonna say it's all about taste. If there is sufficient marbling throughout the meat, I don't believe the fat cap will make much of a difference. I tend to cut most of the fat cap off and still seem to have excellent results. [p] Good luck and enjoy your cook. I'm on my second hour of a butt cook now. Rubbed in "Grilla Shaker" and smoking in hickory and apple wood. [p] Have a great weekend!!! Mac

  • Nardi,[p]I really have no proof that a fat cap makes any difference but I always ask for it for one simple reason. It may sound crazy, and my doctor would go bonkers, but I chop up the leftover fat cap and put it in the microwave at two minutes on high and I have my own, home made, pork cracklings![p]It goes straight to the arteries, no pit stop.

  • JSlotJSlot Posts: 1,218
    That's one reason I like to cook picnics instead of butts every now and then. You get a really nice piece of skin to make cracklin's with! That, and 49¢ a pound doesn't hurt, either![p]Jim
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